Ebola: UK Mine Workers Leave After Outbreak
London Mining's "non-essential" staff have left Sierra Leone, the latest West African country to be affected by the highly contagious Ebola epidemic.
The British iron ore firm said a number of personnel had left the country voluntarily and travel restrictions had been placed in the area around its Marampa mine.
"The Company notes recent news reports from Sierra Leone indicating an increased number of cases of Ebola Fever predominantly in the East of the country bordering the area in Guinea where the outbreak first occurred some months ago.
"As a precautionary measure in line with its standard operating procedures, restrictions have been imposed on non-essential travel by visitors from affected areas and some personnel who are able to work remotely, with operations personnel remaining in country and operations running as normal."
It said it was not aware of any suspected cases among its workers or residents in local areas.
But it said it was closely monitoring the situation with Sierra Leone's Ministry of Health and Sanitation, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other international agencies.
The firm said production at the Marampa facility was not affected.
The outbreak, which has been gripping West Africa in recent months, claimed its first fatalities in Sierra Leone last week. Since then at least five people have been killed by the virus.
A further 36 suspected cases have been documented, 15 of which have been confirmed.
All fatalities have been in the eastern regions of Kailahun and Kenema near the border with Guinea, the epicentre of the outbreak.
According to the WHO, confirmed cases of Ebola have killed 108 people in Guinea alone.
It said suspected cases have left a total of 193 people dead.
Other suspected cases have killed at least 10 people in neighbouring Liberia.
The first cases of the hemorrhagic fever were spotted in Guinea earlier this year, marking West Africa's first Ebola outbreak.
There is no known treatment or vaccine for Ebola which, depending on the strain, kills between 25% and 90% of those contaminated.